My favorite thing to make for dinner is: reservations.
— Unknown

Unfortunately, the places that usually require reservations are places that are not very kid friendly. Ha! Isn't that the truth? Some of these places don't even take reservations I think and is only first come and first serve. Well, if you are anything like me, then spur of the moment dinners are your thing too. This includes eating out. As hard as I try, I cannot prep meals in advance like I used to and freeze them for convenience so when convenience calls, we are totally all about eating out. Here are some of my favorite places to take the kids. These are our favorite places to eat in our area. These places have no idea that I am giving them props. So here goes! 

1. Bricks

My absolute favorite place to eat (in Placerville that is). I could literally eat there every night. I love the down-home comfort food and I love the atmosphere. It literally has something for everyone. The place can get really loud, really quick so be prepared for that. I think what drew me to the place originally was the awesome photographs of our town on its walls. They have a great kids menu and my kids really love it there too. Recently they added a little book shelf that has books and coloring books and crayons on its shelves for kids to have something to do while they wait for the food. My kids have zero problems with getting up and switching out their materials while we wait. The service is always good there and because I love going into town and walking down Main Street (where it's located) I just can't say enough about its location as well. If you haven't yet, please try this place out. 

2. Mel's Diner

Ok so we don't go here pretty much EVER. It's not because we don't like the atmosphere or the service but mainly because my hubby doesn't like the food that much. I have NO idea why other than he is picky about way his burgers are cooked. That being said- if I am going to eat out without my hubby I would have no problem taking the kids here myself. I love the food and I love the ambiance. The era and the music and milk shakes are all to die for! My kids love the menu just for them and it has a ton of choices on it. (Not just two or three like some places). And it even serves breakfast all the time so they can get pancakes for dinner if I let them! (At least I think it is still this way.) Lastly, unless they get food that actually requires a bowl- it comes in a really cool paper car that the kids love to take home and play with until it gets destroyed. And who doesn't love the Oreo cookie desert it comes with? Conveniently this restaurant is located also on Main Street but not on the main drag so it actually has its own parking lot which makes it a ton easier and if you are inviting family out of the area it is right off the freeway and easy to find. Mel's Diner is a winner in my book. 

3. Sweetie Pies

Our favorite breakfast place. Period. Such a small building filled with such love and yummy food. When my son was really little we had a tradition of going there almost every Sunday. It was like our thing we did. The people there knew us well and we had our regular food we ate all the time. We were predictable people. Ha! We haven't been there in a long time but when we do go we still love i e same. They have a great menu for kids that isn't restricted to only kids. The neat thing is that it claims to be in smaller portions so anyone can order from it. Not just the 10 and under crowd. Even though we don't go o fen, the kids know where to get the crayons and books for coloring while we wait and they have memorized the layout- albeit kinda confusing for those that maybe haven't been to the tiny place before. Don't go on a Sunday after church or any weekend for that matter after 9am or you will most likely have a wait of at least one hour. I'm serious. This place is crazy busy all the time. If you have never been then I recommend the French Toast. It really is the best thing EVER. 

4.  Placerville Brewery

What? A brewery for kids? No really, it's true. If you have never been to the Placerville Brewery you are missing out. I can't resist their fish and chips! And of course for the adults, the beer is supposed to be really good! I don't drink but if I did I am sure this would be great. HA! They do have some toys for the kids to play with while they wait if you let them. And they always have a good sports game on or something on the T.V. The menu is typical but good, good food. I highly recommend it.

5. In & Out

So those of you that know me well- I am all for organic foods and convenience foods. That usually does not go hand in hand but I am confident that this place has the best burgers ever and I know for a fact that the food that is going into my body is the "healthiest" fast food I can get. for a burger anyways. Compared to other fast food places like McDonalds and such, it really is better for you. Don't take my word for it though. It's all in the taste. The other great thing is that they are super fast and the kids love the stickers. The small book of activity stickers is like their favorite thing to do EVER. We kinda have them all over the house. My daughter gives them to me as gifts. I mean, what is that all about? 

6. Chipotle

Going along the lines of the last place, this one is just as good if not better. The best thing about this place is that it's NOT your typical burger place. It sells MEXICAN fast food! It's all organic/homegrown/healthy and now they just released the fact that they are GMO free! If that doesn't make a mother feel good I don't know what does! If you don't care about that kind of thing then its fine but for me- I like knowing that the food I am putting into my body is all natural and healthy for me. I think the only thing wrong with this place is that the portions are WAY TOO BIG! But how bad is that really? They have a great kids menu that offers pretty much all the choices as the adult menu but in smaller sizes (and more fun). But again- don't take my word for it. You have to try it. Really good food.  

7. Jack's Urban Eats

The only non-local place I will post today. This is my absolute FAVORITE place to eat of all time. Literally hands down. No contest. Jack's is in Folsom and when I have time (and money) and I am in that area I will ALWAYS stop at Jack's. Now, I'm usually not that lucky for all the stars to align properly and all three of those things happen all at once so it's pretty rare I get to go to Jack's. But man, when I can, I am all there. They have a great kids menu and their Mac and Cheese is not from a box!! I don't think anything there is from a box. Everything is freshly made and just yummy  to the core. I love love love their trip-tip sandwich and the garlic fries??! You are missing out if you have never tried them. I mean, come on...it's garlic! It's a fast pace place to get food. If you arrive about 15 minutes before the lunch rush you will be better off. Otherwise you will be waiting 30 minutes just in line to order! It can get crazy. It is a true testament to the food. Try it next time you are down there!

8. Greenhouse Cafe

Ok, so this is another place that is super great for taking the kids. It is owned by family friendly people, it has a great diner atmosphere and the food is down-home yummy. Hidden away behind a nook in the Raley's shopping center, if you haven't tried this place you need to now! It's so quant and really good food. 

Do you have a favorite place to eat? Tell me about it? I am always looking for more places to take my kids. We love so many restaurants in this town that I cannot mention them all. Maybe I will do another post next week! Stay tuned for that!

After you are done trying these places out- give me a call and we can schedule your next photography session. Nothing says the need for family memories in photos like some good quality bonding time with family over eating. It's amazing what you can learn about yourself and your kids if you just stop and listen and watch. Call me today! 

Much love,

Heather 

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Member of National Association of Child Photographers 

Member of Red Thread Sessions

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